XV. Piper Lynn Lun
Half a Year Later
Dustin spits the baby food into Emerson’s face.
Emerson closed his eyes and lowered the baby food. He grabbed the towel and cleaned his face before he took a sharp breath. “Now, let’s try this again.”
He took another sharp breath, “Look, Dustin! Look at the airplane!” He made airplane noises. “Here comes the air-”
Dustin smack the spoon from Emerson’s hand then laughed.
Emerson looks at me.
I took a bit of the steak, “You’re the one who wants a boy.”
He inhaled another breath and tried to feed Dustin again. Dustin moved away and cried.
“What’s going on?” Emerson whined. “Your older sister ate her food when she was four months old!”
“Because I’m smart daddy.” Crystal took another bite of her food. “The baby is stupid.”
“Hey,” I said. “What did I say about calling your baby brother the s-word?”
Crystal pouted before she glared at Dustin. She pushed away her plate, “I’m done!” Crystal stomps towards her bedroom.
Ever since Dustin came home, Crystal had been acting out. I can’t even blame her because Emerson and I had poured all our attention towards Dustin. We have to. The boy wouldn’t stop crying, pooping, and screaming.
I thought baby Crystal was bad, but here comes baby Dustin.
At least Crystal didn’t pee on my face.
Emerson exhaled softly, “Should we talk to her?”
I shook my head, “You stay here. I’ll go talk to her.”
“You just don’t want to feed Dustin.”
Dustin spits on Emerson’s face.
I chuckled, “Maybe.” I rushed towards the stairs and up to the unicorn’s room. I knocked twice.
I knocked again.
I’m looking forward to their teenage years.
I knocked for the third time.
Small stomps made their way towards me. I could always open the door, but Emerson said it’s better to give Crystal privacy. What privacy? The kid is like five.
Crystal opened the door, “I said: Go away.”
I squat down to her level, “Oh. So, that’s what you said? I’m sorry. I can’t hear it behind the thick door.”
Crystal puffed her cheeks and shuffled back into her bed. She crawled underneath the sheets and rolled herself into a ball.
I sat down beside her, “Unicorn. You knew-”
“The baby needs mommy and daddy because he can’t do anything. It’s my fault for being a brat.”
Geez. Where did she get this attitude from?
I bet it’s Emerson.
He’s probably a brat when he was younger.
I pet the blanket bump. It could be her head or butt, both works. “Unicorn. We won’t forget about you all because Dustin came.”
Crystal pokes her head out, “Then, why does the baby get to sleep in your room, and I can’t?”
“Because you’re a big girl. You need to sleep in your own room.”
“I don’t want to be a big girl!” She crawled onto my lap. “Me. Baby!”
“Crystal. You’re not-”
“Please, use your words.”
“Wah! Wah! Crystal is a baby. Baby no talk. Only wah! Wah! Wah!”
I exhale softly, “Okay. You can be a baby again.”
“Wah!” That’s her happy sound.
“I guess since we have two babies in the house. It means we can’t go to the zoo this weekend.”
Crystal looks at me, “Wah?”
“Your dad and I talked about it. Since Crystal is such an understanding big sister, we thought we could reward her with the zoo.”
Crystal’s eyes widen.
“You know. The zoo. With the rides. The candy. The oh so fluffy cotton candies. But babies don’t eat cotton candies!” I faked a cry. “It’s so sad!”
I held Crystal and ran downstairs.
Emerson looked at me. There’s baby food all over his face. Baby food and spits. “What?”
“We can’t go to the zoo!”
“We have another baby!” I held out Crystal. “Two babies mean no zoo! No animals! No giant cotton candy balls that are bigger than Crystal.”
Finally, Emerson caught on. He nods, “Your mommy is right. Suppose there are two babies now. We must stay home.” He grabbed another baby jar. “Set the girl down. It’s feeding time.”
I set Crystal on her booster.
Emerson opened the jar of mush carrots. “Now. Open up! Here comes the airplane!”
Crystal’s face twisted, “Ew! I don’t want to eat the yucky food!” She slapped the spoon away, and it landed on Emerson’s face.
He licked his lips, “I can’t get a break today.”
“What? What are you doing?! Babies don’t talk!” I said.
“But, I don’t want to eat that!”
“What kind of baby are you?” I asked. “You talk, and you don’t eat baby food?”
Crystal grinned, “I also want to go to the zoo and get a large ball of cotton candy.”
Emerson wiped off the rest of the food from his face. His shirt is done. There is no way I can get the stain off. “I’m sorry, but only big kids who used their words can go to the zoo and get cotton candy.”
Emerson and I try our best not to use punishment on our kids. Of course, if Crystal or Dustin goes too far, we would do something about that. But, most of the time, we like to use some sort of psychology.
He looked at Dustin, “You. Are you a big kid?”
Dustin smacked the table full of food and then shook his fat hands.
“Denied! No cotton candy!” Emerson’s voice deepens.
Crystal points at herself, “I’m a big girl! Me! Me!"
Emerson lifts a brow, “You sure?”
Crystal nods, “Yes! Yes!” She got off her seat and walked in circles. “I walk. I talk. I even slept in my own bed yesterday.” She puffed her chest.
Emerson stroke his chin, “Alright. But, I’m going to have to watch you for the rest of the week just in case you turn into a baby.”
Crystal nods, “Big girl! Big girl!”
Emerson’s eyes narrowed, “Big girl? Does that mean you’re not afraid of the...tickle monster? Rawr!”
Crystal squealed and ran into another room with Emerson hot behind her trail.
“W-Wait. Emmy! Did Dustin eat?”
I look at Dustin. “Your dad played me. Didn’t he?”
Dustin shows off his gums then slapped his red cheeks. I rolled up my sleeves, “Alright. It’s just us.” I sat down and grabbed the baby food. “You don’t need to pretend not to like the food anymore. So, eat it.”
Dustin opened his mouth, and I shoved in the food.
He actually ate the f-
Dustin spits it in my eye.
“Tickle monster!” Emerson shouted from upstairs.
I got closer to Dustin, and he stopped smiling. “Listen here. You can pull off this kind of thing with your dad, but not me. I swear, if you spit on me again, I will whoop you.”
I scoop another spoon, “Now open.”
Dustin opens his mouth.
I fed him the food.
I watch as his throat moves.
I smile, “Good. You-”
Dustin spits the food into my mouth.
I gagged and spat out the food. I cannot believe he did that.
Dustin burst out laughing.
“Emmy! The baby spit his food into my mouth!”
All I could hear are Crystal’s giggles.
“I know you can hear me!”
Crystal’s laughter got louder.
He is using her laughter to conceal my voice.
I glared at Dustin, “I know you are conspiring with your father. What did he tell you while I was gone? Did he say I was the enemy and you should spit on me?”
Dustin cock his head.
I groaned, “What am I doing?” I didn’t get much sleep last night. “Am I really thinking that a six-month-old baby is conspiring with his father to somehow go against me?”
Dustin swipes the jar of food onto the ground.
I look at him.
He slapped my cheeks with his hands then giggled.
“Listen,” I said. “I’ll let you pass since you’re a baby. But, I swear, the moment you can talk, you’re grounded.”
Dustin blew a raspberry.
“You can understand me!”
I groaned lightly, “Come here.” I grabbed him from the high chair. “Just eat.” The moment I put Dustin near my breast, he sucks on it.
“You win this round,” I said.
I rested my head against the chair, and when he finished eating, I burped him. With Dustin over my shoulder, he pulled my hair. I grabbed the roots and tugged his hand away.
“Your dad was probably a naughty boy.”
I walk towards the living and put him down. Dustin crawled towards me and sat on my stomach. He grabbed my hair and chewed on it.
“Shouldn’t you be sleepy after eating?”
I smiled softly, “You butt.” I poked his diaper. “You watch it. Your older sister is planning something. Don’t be surprised if you’re in China tomorrow.”
Dustin rolled around the room.
I laid down on my stomach, “Be good to your older sister, okay?”
Dustin flapped his limbs and grabbed the toys. He chewed on it.
“You two are siblings,” I said. “Don’t be too mean to each other and always stick together.”
Dustin slapped my cheek with his toy.
“I’ll take that as a yes.”
“Talking to yourself again?” I look back to see Emerson with Crystal.
Emerson set Crystal beside Dustin. She frowned and pulled at the stuffed animal. “This is my unicorn!”
Dustin made some loud noises then slapped Crystal’s face. Crystal let go of the toy, and Dustin fell onto the pillow. He smiled and chewed on the stuffed animal.
“He hit me!” Crystal went towards Emerson. “Daddy! Daddy! He hit me!” Then, her face turned towards Dustin. “Self-defense! Hi-y-”
Emerson held her back, “No. No. No. You’re using it all wrong.”
I laughed, “Come here.”
Crystal crawled towards me and sat in my stomach. I squished her cheeks together. “What is it, mommy?”
Without saying anything, I hugged her. “Sleep with mommy and daddy tonight?”
“But, I’m a big girl.”
“We will still go to the zoo.”
“Even if I sleep with mommy and daddy?”
I nod, “Yes.”
Crystal grinned widely, “I’m going to go change!”
Emerson chuckled, “Who was the one who said she was the strict parent?”
“I am strict!”
“Oh? Was I the one who suggested the zoo? Sleeping with mommy and daddy?” He said in a teasing tone.
I grabbed the toy from Dustin and threw it on Emerson’s face. Without the toy, Dustin cried loudly.
I stood up, “Not it!” I rushed out of the living room and towards the stairs.
“Piper Lynn Lun!”